Interview Tips & Tricks

Here, interviews are a two-way street. We want to get to know you, but we also want to be sure you walk away knowing us, too.

Photo of Charing

Make a Good First Impression

If you’re like most students we talk to, you want to know what to expect during your interviews and what we’re looking for in you. Here, interviews are a two-way street. We want to get to know you, but we also want to be sure you walk away knowing us, too.

Did you Know?

  • You don’t need to dress up to impress us. Wear whatever makes you most comfortable.
  • You’ll meet with your potential coworkers and team. Ask us questions. We’re the best way to find out what it’s really like to work here.
  • You’ll typically meet for up to an hour each with three to six people during your interviews. Come well-rested and eat a good breakfast!
  • You’ll have a chance to look around. We'll make sure you have time to see campus and get a feel for the area that may soon become your home.

Resume Tips

We know you've honed your resume to a fine polish. Still, these tips may just provide the extra assistance you need to put your best foot forward.

  • Summarize your relevant education, experience, and projects. Skip the things that are outdated or irrelevant.
  • Highlight your accomplishments in previous jobs or projects, not just your duties or responsibilities. Everyone has job duties; it’s how you approached them and what you accomplished in carrying them out that makes you stand out.
  • Show progression. Whether it’s in school, leadership roles or your work, highlight how your experience has helped you grow.
  • Talk about related extracurricular or volunteer work. Just because you weren’t paid for it, that doesn’t mean it’s not important!
  • Include links to projects you’ve worked on. This gives the recruiter a better idea of how you put your skills into practice.
  • It’s okay to use more than one page. That said, be sure your summaries are succinct and relevant—and your most important information appears on the first page.
  • Make sure your resume and contact information is completely up-to-date. To be safe, also include non-school contact info so we can reach you on breaks or after graduation.
  • Be honest. Paint the best possible picture of yourself, but don’t exaggerate. And proofread for typos and errors—more than once!
  • Please submit resumes in English only.

Be Prepared

Will you find the right mix of satisfying work, great projects and exciting challenges at Microsoft? Do you have the drive and determination to help us succeed? That's what our interview process is designed to find out.

  • Be ready to discuss your strengths, expertise and any experience that appears on your resume.
  • Review what you know, such as the job description. Look online for websites, blogs and other online communities related to the group or position.
  • Come prepared with 3 to 5 meaningful questions for your interviewers. Questions demonstrate your level of understanding, your interests and your passions—and help you learn about the company. So don’t hold back.
  • Interviewing can be intense both physically and mentally. To be at your best on interview day, make sure you are well-rested.
  • Dress comfortably. We’re interested in you, not what you wear.
  • Relax and be yourself. It’s easier said than done, but we want to meet the real you.
  • We’re interested in how your mind works. Be ready to show your thinking and explain how you came up with a solution to a technical issue, design question, or problem-solving puzzle.
  • Remember, your interview is an opportunity for you to get to know us and for us to get to know you. Ask questions. Listen. Learn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Planning to apply for a Microsoft internship or full-time role? Over the past few weeks we’ve asked you on Twitter and Facebook to share what you would like to ask a university recruiter. We’ve taken your queries straight to our experts, below you will find answers to some of your most frequently asked questions:

Q: When do you accept applications for internships?

A: At Microsoft, we’re always accepting applications for our internships. That said, we do suggest applying earlier in the school year as opposed to later. According to University Recruiter Sarah Bruch, “we generally accomplish most of our hiring in the fall for the next summer, so we encourage you to apply during the fall instead of waiting until the spring.”

Q: What is the most common mistake you see applicants make?

A: For University Recruiter Anthony Rotoli, it’s the key details that people seem to forget most often: “It’s simple really, but leaving your graduation date, or other important information (phone number, email) off of your resume. Graduation date is very important for us to get a sense of about how far along you should be in school. Contact information is important for…well…us contacting you!”

Beyond the initial application process, Anthony notes that candidates can sometimes block their own path to success. His advice to avoid this? Be yourself: “Applicants will sometimes approach the interview process with what they think an interviewer wants to hear, and they’ll try to make sure they fit the mold they’ve imagined we’re looking for. Bad mistake! The best thing you can show us during interviews is the real you. I always encourage folks to approach each interview like a discussion with a current co-worker or teammate. Don’t try to demonstrate some skill you have only a rudimentary understanding of – talk about what you know, and let your passion shine through!”

Q: I live outside of the United States, but I want to intern in Redmond. Can I still apply?

A: “Yes you can, and we look forward to reviewing your application! Get started by visiting our University Careers Site.” – University Recruiter Sarah Bruch

Q: How can I follow up on the status or progress of my application?

A: There are a couple of ways to follow up on your application throughout the recruiting process. If you have recently submitted an application, University Recruiter Raquel Garcia suggests, “email your local recruiter, but keep in mind that we receive a high volume of resumes/inquires, especially during the fall recruiting season and so it might take us a bit to respond. If you’ve already gone through a formal on-site interview, follow up with the recruiter who you’re working with, this is the person who you met with on the Microsoft campus.”

If you’ve submitted your application and are waiting to hear from us – rest assured that our recruiters are working hard to find the right fit. As Raquel notes, “We accept resumes for the entire year and keep them on file, and only reach out when we believe we have a good fit based on your interests/qualifications and our business needs.”

Q: I missed you on campus, what is the best way to get in touch with a recruiter?

A: Our recruiters would love to hear from you! University Recruiter Jeff D’Andria explains how to get in touch: “I suggest finding your recruiter’s information and email on our University Careers Site. We’re happy to help and are looking forward to meeting you.”

Looking for more insider info on university career opportunities at Microsoft? Check out the Greek Grads category of the JobsBlog for expert tips and advice. If you’re ready to get started on your application, here’s where to go for more information, and to apply.

Related information:

Interview Tips

Be ready to discuss your strengths and any experience that appears on your resume.

Microsoft Social

Follow Microsoft Careers on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Microsoft JobsBlog

Read about Insider Tips, Young Professionals, Women in IT and all things job related.